In a bid to commence the agenda of regulating social media, The Nigerian government on Thursday has issued a fresh notice to all social media platforms and online broadcasting service providers in Nigeria to apply for its broadcast licence.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok and others are affected by the notice.
NBC director-general, Armstrong Idachaba, issued the notification in newspaper advertisement on Thursday.
NBC warned that any online broadcast service provider that fails to obtain a licence will be considered an illegal entity and would be outlawed.
Idachaba said the application is in line with the provision of the National Broadcasting Act CAP N11, Laws of the Federation 2004, section 2(1)(b)).
“The Commission shall have responsibility of receiving, processing and considering applications for the establishment, ownership or operation of Radio & Television Stations including cable television services, Direct Satellite Broadcast (DSB), and ANY medium of Broadcasting.
“The National Broadcasting Commission hereby directs every Online Broadcast Service provider and Social Media Platforms operating within the Nigerian State to apply and obtain broadcast Licence for their Service(s),” the official said.
Idachaba said the application should be sent to his Abuja office.
The directive is coming after the Federal Government had ordered all Telecoms to block Nigerians from accessing Twitter.
The presidency though noted in a statement that the “temporary suspension” of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria is not only because Buhari’s post was deleted but part of efforts to prevent the “violent” consequences usually linked to the spread of fake news and misinformation.
The minister of information, Lai Mohammed disclosed that Twitter has reached out to the Nigerian government and are currently in talks over possible reversal of the ban.